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robertogreco : coloradocollege   2

Watering the Roots of Knowledge Through Collaborative Learning - Commentary - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"These problematic aspects of the model are symptoms of its first major fault, a violation of the wisdom of Confucius: "Tell me, and I will forget; show me, and I will remember; involve me, and I will understand." I have demonstrated this fault directly. One fall at Columbia University, I had the usual 80-student class of bright, ambitious undergraduates fulfilling their science requirement by taking my lecture course on the solar system. Most attended the lectures, and, mostly, they paid attention (I do not use PowerPoint). They worked through long quantitative problem sets, took biweekly quizzes, and performed well on the midterm and final exams. They then went home for Christmas and on to the spring semester.

The following September, I gathered most of them again and administered a test on some of the material we had covered. I gave the same test to my new class before my first lecture. The results were statistically indistinguishable. So much for pouring knowledge from the full container to the empty ones—it leaks out.

The second major fault of the current educational model is that learning is an isolated activity. Yes, we bring a number of students together to form a "class," but then we do everything possible to isolate students from each other: "No talking in class"; "Please leave two seats between each person for this exam"; "Do all your own work." We desocialize learning, separating it from the periods of normal human interaction we call dorm-room bull sessions.

The third misplaced pillar of educational practice is competition and its accompanying correlate, quantitative measurement. Standardized tests proliferate; grade-point averages are calculated to four significant figures. We pretend that these numbers measure learning and use them to award scholarships, sort professional-school applicants, and, sadly, evaluate self-worth. And we are surprised that cheating—the goal of which is to get a higher score—is widespread. If a group of students works together effectively and efficiently to solve a hard problem, in school this is called cheating. In life, as the British educator Sir Ken Robinson notes, it's called collaboration, a valued asset in most real-world settings."



"General education is often thought of as a means to expose students to a broad range of "essential" knowledge and to provide a historical context for the culture in which they live. These are valid, but insufficient, goals. The purpose of general education should be to produce graduates who are skilled in communication, imbued with quantitative reasoning skills, instinctively collaborative, inherently transdisciplinary in their approach to problems, and engaged in their local and global communities—broadly educated individuals with an informed perspective on the problems of the 21st century and the integrative abilities to solve them."
davidhelfand  questuniversity  2013  via:tealtan  education  design  curriculum  academia  highereducation  highered  tcsnmy  cv  teaching  learning  unschooling  blockprograms  collaboration  deschooling  measurement  standardization  standardizedtesting  standards  social  isolation  comparison  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  coloradocollege  flexibility  depth  depthoverbreadth  generalists  generaleducation  adaptability  shrequest1 
july 2013 by robertogreco
38 Alternatives to University and Design School in the Americas & Canada
"To do things differently, it helps to connect with new people and contexts. Universities and design schools seldom make that easy. Our xskool and City Eco Lab encounters aspire to meet this need – but there are many other experimental schools, courses and events out there. This handout contains the most interesting ones we’ve found so far.  It includes [with their permission] the findings of a scoping study for Schumacher College in England.  No quality judgment is implied by inclusion in (or omission from) this list. If we have made any mistakes here,or you would like to suggest an addition to this list, please email: john (at) doorsofperception dot com"
costarica  hollyhockleadershipinstitute  insterdisciplinarycentreforenvironment  interdisciplinary  sustainableinterpriseacademy  ubc  dalhousieuniversity  permacultureinstitute  permaculture  antiochuniversity  centerforcreativechange  archeworks  holynamesuniversity  coloradocollege  columbia  earthinstitute  ecosainstitute  prescottcollege  thesustainabilityinstitute  thenatureinstitute  tetonscienceschool  siriuscommunity  systems  systemsthinking  organizationsystemsrenewal  presidioschoolofmanagement  oberlincollege  naropauniversity  bainbridgegarduateinstitute  bainbridgeisland  ecoversity  iwb  dominicancollege  bioregions  design  ucberkeley  ecoliteracy  green  environment  sustainability  cityecolab  xskool  johnthackara  2012  education  alternative  altgdp  openstudioproject  lcproject 
april 2012 by robertogreco

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